Summer Salads: a few things to watch for…

November 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Nutrition Tips

Ahhh, summer.  We enter the wonderful time of year when fresh summer salads become staple summer meals.  And although arguing that such a tradition is not healthful would be unwise, a few words of caution need to be expressed for the summer savvy salad creator.

There are some basic components to a well thought out meal; a high fibre source of starch, lot’s of vegetables and a lean source of protein (most of you know this as ”the plate model” by now ;) .  As salads go, this could be richly green romaine lettuce arranged on a bed of quinoa, topped with a freshly grilled red snapper fillet.  Add a few more veggies and a low fat dressing and this is a perfectly balanced summer salad meal adhering to even the most strict of dieters palates.  If following the plate model, this salad would provide the average women with around 400 calories.  Not bad.

Now…add to that oven roasted corn kernels (prepared with a little olive oil), dried cranberries, a sprinkling of sesame or pumpkin seeds, a dash of feta cheese and a home made oil and vinegar dressing…suddenly your dieters delight has turned into a calorie parfait.  Now your salad is worth approximately 800 calories more!  Not good.

Things like avocado, dried fruits, cheese or nuts can really add up the calories in these summer staples.  A quarter cup of any of them will add 90, 130, 180 and 250 calories to your salad respectively.  My advice, keep your salads simple, use a low fat dressing and enjoy the lightness of this meal, not just the illusion of it.